Henry James Montague

(1843—1878) actor

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(1844–78), actor. This late 19th-century Valentino was born in England and had made a name for himself in T. W. Robertson comedies in London before Lester Wallack brought him to America in 1874 to serve as leading man with his ensemble. George Odell has noted, “Montague became at once the accepted matinée idol; he was handsome, gentle and gentlemanly—a perfect specimen of refined English manhood. New York had seen nothing like him before; he had the faculty of making most other leading men seem boorish, ill-dressed, and possibly a bit vulgar.. .. His photographs by Mora and Sarony were soon on every dressing-table.” He played Captain Molineux in the premiere of The Shaughraun (1874) and later earned praise for his performance in such contemporary successes as Caste, Diplomacy, and The Overland Route. As popular with his confreres as he was with the public, Montague is reputed to have suggested the founding of the club that became the Lambs.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.

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